Thursday 22 December 2011

It's Christmas — and it's all good news!

Just in time to play Santy, has announced a discount of 10% on all subscription purchased at any point from today until the end of the festive celebrations.

The intention is to allow more researchers access to the nearly 10 million records held on the site and to launch Start Your Family Tree Week with a seasonal hurrah, even though it doesn't officially begin until the 26th.

Each day from St. Stephen's day to New Year's Day, will be giving out hints and tips to help new researchers make early progress with their Irish genealogy. They will be delivering charts, interview guides and plenty of advice to help you along the way. There will also be festive challenges and spot prizes via facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

The discount will be valid until 2nd January.


Glasnevin Museum, which won the international THEA award for Themed Entertainment in March (the first cemetery to do so), has been nominated for the 2012 European Museum Award.

The Museum is run by Glasnevin Trust, which last month won CIGO's 2012 Award for Excellence in Genealogy (you can read the story here).

Here's wishing them good luck for a hat-trick.


The long awaited free church records from Co Monaghan, which were due to appear on in October, are still in the pipe, according to the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

After a couple of dashed hopes for upload earlier in the year, the Monaghan collection did not appear with the last batch of new records (for Dublin and Cork) two months ago. Ominously, there was no mention of them either.

When RootsIreland subsequently added Monaghan records to its pay-to-view site, many researchers were concerned that the project to deliver them free had been shelved. The deafening silence from on the matter reinforced this opinion.

So, the news that the records will be online and free in 'early 2012' is very welcome. Even if the 'early' bit should probably be taken with a pinch of salt!


As it's Christmas, I hope you'll forgive me a little indulgence. I wanted to announce that the first of a series of guest articles by yours truly is now live on the Certificate of Irish Heritage website.

This first one deals with locating the townland of your ancestors, something that often proves the greatest obstacle to the descendants of Irish emigrants. There are more articles waiting in the wings about the Irish census, Griffiths Valuation etc, and they'll be appearing in the New Year.

Okay, that's my personal promotion over with for the year, and this is probably the last you'll hear from me till after Christmas. Have a great time, all of you. I'll be back with a review of the year next week.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Mid-December update from IGP Archives

The goose may be getting fat but the hardworking folk at Ireland Genealogy Project Archives haven't slackened in the month so far. Maybe they'll take a well-deserved little rest over the next couple of weeks.

DERRY, Military & Constabulary
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

DUBLIN Genealogy Archives - Headstones
Glasnevin - Part 9

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Church
Derryvullan (CoI) Births 1878-1916 (Tirkennedy, Enniskillen)

LIMERICK Genealogy Archives - Obituaries, Military & Constabulary
Assorted Obituaries
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

LONGFORD Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

LOUTH Genealogy Archives
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

MAYO Genealogy Archives - Land Records
Encumbered Estate property of CHARLES BLAKE, Esq.(Coolcon and Garrymore) 1852
Encumbered Estate property of CHARLES BLAKE, Esq.(Carraskeane) 1852
Encumbered Estate property of CHARLES BLAKE, Esq.1852.(Clonkeen, Curramore, Ballyglass, Knockanroe, Ballinphuil & Gortnanning)

OFFALY (Kings) Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary

Tuesday 13 December 2011

It's Christmas shopping time

I've finally given in and accepted that Christmas is coming. Can't say I'm yet in full festive mood — that will come when I get the decorations up this weekend — but with December ticking away, it is time to start considering some genealogy-focussed gifts.

There are definitely some goodies out there. Here's my selection:

Subscription to Why not treat your much loved family historian to a subscription to Ireland's very own specialist database provider? Come to that, why not treat yourself?! The website carries hundreds of thousands of records that you won't find on any other online service.

There's a wide spread of options to suit your bank balance. An annual subscription comes in at €59.95 while the 6-month alternative costs €37.95. There are also two Pay-as-you-go options: 300 credits for €24.95 or 100 credits for €9.95.

Eneclann has some great stocking filler cd-roms and books for under €15. Those that caught my eye were The Agricultural Labourer, which comes in four parts (1894), each costing €9.86, William Carleton's Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry, 1853, at the same price, and Deserted Children (Dublin) (1854) for €4.48.

The company also has some superb selections of specialist publications arranged by county of interest. Take a look:

Or what about a gift subscription to History Ireland? I may have mentioned how much I love this magazine once or twice before. I ought to be on commission (I'm not, by the way.) It's a great read, with authoritative but readable features, news, reviews and lots more. I relish its arrival every two months. A one-year sub to an address in Ireland or Northern Ireland is €33.50, a bit more for overseas.

Pure Cork: This wonderful book of 350 images will be enthusiastically received by anyone with Cork heritage. The author, Michael Lenihan, has been collecting old photos and postcards for several decades and he's brought the best together in this collection of streetscapes, people, shawlies, ships, trams, horse-drawn carts, churches and even advertising boards and theatre tickets.

Launched last month, Pure Cork is available from good bookshops but there's probably still time (just!) to get a signed copy by contacting the author at mlenihan13 at yahoo dot com. €25 Hardback. ISBN 978 1 85635 882 8. Published by Mercier Press.

Dublin 1911: For those outside the Republic of Cork, perhaps Catriona Crowe's Dublin 1911 is a more suitable book choice. Actually, it would sit very comfortably on any coffee table or bookcase anywhere — in Ireland, or overseas — not just because it's about the capital city, but because it reflects the society of all Ireland at that time.

At €40, it's hardly a stocking filler, but it's a quality publication, through and through. Launched by Jimmy Deenihan, TD., Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, no less, the Irish Times described it as a 'triumph of book production'. Published by the Royal Irish Academy, this is a book that will earn its keep over and over.

Ancestry's Family Tree Maker 2012: I've been using Family Tree Maker for more years than I care to remember. My year-dot version does what it says on the tin and plenty more, and I didn't particularly feel that I needed an upgrade. Until I visited my genealogy pal, Marla, that is.

With a significant birthday just last month, her caring husband bought her the 2012 Platinum version, and she wanted to show it off to me (or make me green with envy... she's a bit like that sometimes).

 300x250 FTM
It's fantastic. Plain and simple. And it does things you just never knew you wanted to do! Like the improved editing options, which they call Smart Stories. And the new Tree Sync feature, which automatically updates your tree on Ancestry when you update the one on your desktop. (I don't have a tree on ancestry, but Marla does and this facility is going to save her hours.) It's also got lots of new good-looking charts, new ways of presenting trees and, at last, this software recognises the 'modern' family, complete with step-children, adoptions etc.

The Platinum version comes with a 6-month Premium membership (UK and Ireland collections) of Ancestry while the World version comes with a 6-month World membership.

And finally, two little gems to bring a smile to the face of your best loved genealogist. The Family and Local History Quiz Book and Dead End Hobby have been compiled by Mick Southwick of Bi-Gen Blog fame.

The Quiz book includes around 700 facts organised into 39 individual quizzes. The questions mainly relate to family and social history in the UK but there are also some specialised options that relate to Irish genealogy, Latin, Heraldry, Occupations etc. Quite apart from testing one's own brilliance and mastery of the hobby, I can see this being extremely useful to family history societies for fundraising events. At just £4.90 (UK), £5.90 (ROI), inc p&p, even the most parsimonious santa will be happy to pop this into a stocking.

Same goes for Dead End Hobby, a 72-pager that describes itself as a collection of oddments from the world of family history. Mick has gathered together quotes, illustrations, newspaper stories, obituaries, last wishes, strange deaths, parish register annotatations and all manner of curious, amusing and poignant tales from the UK and Ireland. It's quirky. It's charming. And it's only £5/£6.

You can order the books here.

Happy shopping.

Monday 12 December 2011

Seasonal Christmas and New Year hours

A round up of seasonal opening and closing times at some of the major repositories:

National Library of Ireland:

Early Closing Wednesday 14 December. A carol concert will be held at the National Library at 8pm (everyone welcome!) so the Main Reading Room will close earlier than normal at 7pm. The Manuscripts Reading Room will remain open until 7.45pm as usual.

The Reading Room and Genealogy Service will close at 4.45pm on Friday 23 December and re-open at 9.30am on Tuesday 3 January.

National Archives of Ireland:

The Reading Room will close at 12.30pm on Friday 23 December until 10.00am on Wednesday 28 December. It will then operate normal hours until 4pm on Friday 30 December. It will be closed on Monday 2 January 2012, re-opening at 10am on Tuesday 3 January.


PRONI will close at 4.45pm on Friday 23 December and remain closed until 9am on Thursday 29 December (late night until 8.45pm). It will also be open on Friday for normal hours of 9am to 4.45pm. Closed on Monday 2 January, it will re-open at 9am on Tuesday 3 January.

RCB Library:

Early closing on Friday 16 December. The Library will close at 1pm.

The Library will close for the Christmas break at 5pm on Friday 23 December and remain closed until 9.30am on Tuesday 3 January.

Thursday 8 December 2011

The story of an Irish Quaker family 1630-1950

Relatively little has been written about the Quakers’ industrial activities in Ireland, yet they were instrumental in creating some of the country’s largest manufacturing businesses, including many with their origins in the Midlands. Now Michael Goodbody, a member of one of those well-known and long-established Quaker families, has written a book that examines their role.

His book, The Goodbodys – Millers, Merchants and Manufacturers – The Story of an Irish Quaker Family 1630-1950, is more than just a family history. It also looks at the role the Quakers played in the Irish economy. It includes photographs dating back to the late 1800s and paintings and illustrations from even earlier.

The book follows the fortunes of the family from the time of their arrival in Ireland and conversion to Quakerism, through the ‘quiet’ years, when they were farmers, merchants and tanners, until 1825, when Robert Goodbody moved to Clara to start milling flour. He and his five sons, who were connected by marriage to some of the leading merchants and manufacturers of the day, used their increasing wealth to alleviate distress during the Famine years and then developed their business interests in Tullamore and Clara.

The Goodbodys were among the first Quaker families to settle in Mountmellick, one of the principal Quaker communities in Ireland at the time, and they remained there for eight generations.

The book is available through Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society (,, and good local bookshops. 539 pages. €40.

More about the Quakers in Ireland.

Monday 5 December 2011

Find My Past offers 10% discount on subs

Three snips of news from Find My today.

First up, the database provider is offering a 10% discount on all subscriptions. Although the company's blurb refers to this as a Christmas discount, I can't find an end date for the promotion, so I'd suggest you just get on with it if you intend to take advantage of the offer.

To claim the discount, you simply type in the promotional code SUB10 when you subscribe.

Worth noting also that the 1861 Scottish census, which contains more than 3 million records, has just joined those for 1841 and 1851 on the site. Images of the original Scottish census returns are not available (due to licensing regulations) but the transcriptions have been overhauled to ensure they are of the highest quality.

And finally, a couple of Christmas gift voucher ideas. Choose from a stocking filler £5 voucher (40 credits, valid for 90 days) to a very worthwhile £35 voucher (full subscription for three months). The 3-month option is available only via a voucher. Full details on FindMyPast's News pages.

Friday 2 December 2011

Recent additions to IGP Archives

IGP Archives has been updated with the following records in the last two weeks.

DONEGAL Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary Enlistees

FERMANAGH Genealogy Archives - Military Records
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary Enlistees

KERRY Genealogy Archives - Military & Constabulary Records
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary Enlistees

KILKENNY Genealogy Archives - Military
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary Enlistees

KILDARE Genealogy Archives - Military
1842 Royal Irish Constabulary Enlistees

TIPPERARY Genealogy Archives - Headstones and Photos
Aglish & Gortnahoe Headstones
Twomileborris Cemetery Photo

WESTMEATH Genealogy Archives
William Hankinson's Ledger Fearmore Townland, 1852-1884
John & Bridge Coughlin Bible (from Moat)

WICKLOW Headstone Index
Glenealy Parish Church Cemetery (additional headstones)